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post #21 of 36 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

You don't use all these sails at the same time. They are used in different situations and different wind conditions. Smaller sails are used when winds are strong. It is good to have extra sails, even if just as a backup. Sails are also very expensive, so 14 sails is a value added item on a boat.

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post #22 of 36 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

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Originally Posted by Arcb View Post
Yipes, Hawaii doesn't sound like a pleasant place to live aboard.

For one person learning to sail I would aim to keep your boat size small. Aside from the reasons above, I can't think of any reason somebody would want to learn to single hand on a boat much over 30'.
Says the guy who has lived aboard in an environment many would consider a hostile one.

I am going to guess that any place where the weather is conducive to living aboard and the cost of living on land is high, will have restrictions on it. If you choose to live on a boat in a climate that will force you to shovel snow to use the head on land for a few months a year, might have less competition for available berths.

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post #23 of 36 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

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I really like the S&S34, but kind of intimidated by the number of sails. Wouldn't it take a lot of experience to operate 14 sails?
Thanks for this. I started my day off with a good laugh. I am having visions of a new sailor trying to put up every sail he owned. My guess is this boat is raced. Otherwise there is no reason to own that many sails. It would actually make it a pain to live aboard with that many sails. Also the sail inventory might be a racing one and the boat might not have either good cruising sails or rigged correctly for cruising.

Speaking of sails, I would say they are probably more important than the engine in your quest. You could get to California without an engine but not without sails. A suit of sails worthy of crossing the ocean for a 33 foot boat could cost $15-20k. New rigging another $5k. At this juncture you need to choose wisely if you want to be able to sail the boat across the ocean in 2 years. Look for the boat that someone has spent the last 2 years prepping of ocean travel not the liveaboard someone has spent 15 year aboard enjoying the marina lifestyle.

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post #24 of 36 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

Its a masthead sloop. You'll be operating two sails a time.

You should get a book, man. Sit down and read about the basics. Learn what a sloop is, as opposed to a cutter, ketch, yawl, schooner, etc. Learn about different hull configurations, keel types, rudder types. Learn about ballast ratio, points of sail, boat terminology. Then take a basic keelboat course. THEN go shopping.

But if you can snap up a S&S 34 in good shape, great. Wonderful boat. Was a record setting world cruiser in its day.

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post #25 of 36 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

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Originally Posted by odeapt View Post
I really like the S&S34, but kind of intimidated by the number of sails. Wouldn't it take a lot of experience to operate 14 sails?
It's a sloop, two sails, main and jib, at a time. A little experience with the boat will give you the knowledge as to which head sail you need for the conditions and what reef, if any, to put in. The boat looks like it was race equipped with sails for all wind conditions. As a cruiser, you can probably sell off a few of the sails as you'll never use them. A heavy and moderate air spinnaker, reacher, drifter, #2 & #3 Genoas and a storm jib along with the main would be a good cruising inventory. You'll probably end up installing a roller fuller/reefer for the headsail. That will cut your Genoa inventory down to one sail that you'll reef to fit conditions.

The S&S 34 is a great sailing boat with a long history of blue water cruising success. The Sparkman and Stephens 34 Sailboat : Bluewaterboats.org
If the S&S doesn't work out, the Cape Dory 33 would be a good choice.
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post #26 of 36 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

I've sailed larger-than-30' boats from Key West to Grenada. However, when I decided to learn to become a good sailor and learn how to own and maintain a sailboat, I chose a 19'-er.

With that background, my advice is: for learning to sail, start with a boat that is too small to live-aboard. To live on a boat, buy the biggest one that you can afford to purchase and maintain. Oh, and maintenance costs way more that you think it will.
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post #27 of 36 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

I don't think you should start learning to sail solo on a boat over 60 feet.

I would also suggest no planing boats over 30 feet, so not Open 60's for the first few months.

Nothing with Hyrofoils for 6 months either.


A 40 to 50 foot production boat would be good to learn on if tgats what you wish to sail permanently.

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post #28 of 36 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

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Originally Posted by odeapt View Post
I need to find a boat that doesn't need a major repair right away. I plan on getting a 10-15 year loan...
I highly doubt that you will get a bank loan for the type of boat you are looking for (older, used, and 'diamond in the rough').

An older boat really is worthless to anyone but the owner and prospective buyer.

To put the shoe on the other foot, imagine if someone wanted you to loan them money for a horse. It might be an expensive and very nice horse, but if they stop paying and you get the horse... what then?

Good luck!

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post #29 of 36 Old 12-09-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

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Originally Posted by zedboy View Post
If your focus is learning to sail, find a way to get access to a dinghy. Much faster response times = much faster learning. If you buy a boat to live on, find a way to sail a dinghy too. If you can, race.
This. Amazed at how many times I crew for others that know their boat systems, but suck at basic sail trim. Motor much more than they should.
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post #30 of 36 Old 12-09-2016
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Re: What size boat to learn to sail solo?

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Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
This. Amazed at how many times I crew for others that know their boat systems, but suck at basic sail trim. Motor much more than they should.
Maybe a big boat to live on, and a tender that has a sail rig (rather than a RIB ). Simultaneously learning complex systems of the big boat, and how to sail on the dinghy.

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